kirk5a wrote:Is there any guidance from the suttas on differentiating between "phenomenological statements" and "ontological statements"?
It's not a classification scheme called out in the suttas, so no.... but we do often see the Buddha reframing certain prevailing concepts (e.g. loka, sabba) from ontological to phenomenological perspectives, so it's not without precedent.
The fact something like "old kamma" is formed (sankhata) suggests to me it is the product of avijja (i.e. a product of dependent origination), and thus phenomenological. I'm not here to argue the point, just to explain how I see it.... you may take it or leave it as you see fit.